The Student News Site of Conestoga High School



Shuttle bus introduced for fall sports season


By Juliana Yao, Co-Sports Editor

For the past two years, cross-country and tennis athletes have consistently struggled to find transportation to practices and meets, usually carpooling with other students to compensate for the lack of bus drivers. Upperclassmen drivers have often been unable to completely meet this need.

“I remember in my sophomore year, we had to have seniors take double trips to go drop off five kids and then come back and then drop off another five kids just to get everybody to practice,” said senior and co-captain of the boys’ cross-country team Nathan Kluge. “It was definitely a struggle.”

To address this issue, the athletic department has introduced a 24-passenger van from the Ace and Airport Service Limousine company as an option for those on the cross country and tennis teams with no transportation means to get to practice and home games. The bus was first offered on Sept. 5 and is provided for athletes with off-campus practice locations, such as Wilson Farm Park for cross-country and UMLY for tennis.

“It was a definite need,” athletic director Kevin Pechin said. “There have been instances over the last couple of years where I’ve been driving people to practice, because my biggest fear is that a student misses a practice because of a lack of transportation. That just can’t happen.”

In a stroke of luck, the athletic department was able to acquire a shuttle bus after its original vendor ran out of buses. After calling almost 10 companies in the area, the department secured a deal with the Chester-based Ace and Airport Service Limousine.

“We exhausted every avenue possible, and we were fortunate enough to find a company that was able to meet our needs on a daily basis,” Pechin said.

The bus also has the potential to reinvigorate a closer team environment for the athletes. Carpooling had benefits in regards to building relationships with upperclassmen, but it had other  drawbacks.

“Without a bus, everyone’s in separate cars, and it kind of groups people together,” said sophomore and varsity girls tennis player Melody Weng. “It stops people from going into different groups and being able to talk to everyone.”

However, a bus is still not guaranteed for tennis away matches, as finding a sufficient number of bus drivers has still posed an issue. Additionally, the bus will not be offered for winter sports because of their on-site practice locations or early practice times, but Pechin hopes to offer and potentially increase the number of buses for spring sports. He believes this will also contribute to a lessened strain on upperclassmen to carpool.

“I fear that we have students driving who don’t need to drive or uneasy drivers, and that’s not a good situation,” Pechin said. “So if we can get buses for our kids, we’re going to do it.”

Juliana Yao can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Juliana Yao
Juliana Yao, Co-Opinion Editor
Juliana Yao is a junior and the Co-Sports Editor of The Spoke. She was previously a Staff Reporter and often writes for the Sports and Opinion sections. Aside from The Spoke, she is a member of the varsity girls’ swim team. As a sports editor, she oversees the writing and journalistic process of reporters in her section.